View Full Version : Maine in mid-November

Sanjay Sen
2-Nov-2007, 16:38
Hi folks,

I'm planning on a week-long trip to photograph interior Maine in mid-November, and am looking for suggestions of interesting locations that in your opinion I shouldn't miss. FWIW, I will be shooting both B&W and color.

I've been to Maine a few times, mostly to Acadia, Portland and the coast. I have not been to the interior of the state. For the upcoming trip, I'm hoping to visit the Lakes & Mountains region, the Kennebec & Moose River Valleys, and the Highlands. (These geographic regions are based on Maine's tourism website (http://www.visitmaine.com/region/region.php).)

Thank you in advance.

Best wishes,

2-Nov-2007, 21:04
I worked in Boothbay Harbor one November and December several years ago. My most vivid memory is of visiting one of the coastal lighthouses on a particularly cold and windy day, bundled up in layers of every piece of clothing that I owned (ski mask and all).
My Pentax LX worked just fine in the incredible cold, but I remember that after shooting around the lighthouse, I didn't think that I was going to be able to walk the few hundred yards back to the car. My moving parts simply wouldn't move -- I truly feared and thought that I was going to die.
Obviously I did make it, but it was a near thing.
My advice: to hell with the pictures-- never work alone, and never far from the car!

PS, sorry about the double post.

Ted Harris
3-Nov-2007, 07:07

I've done a good bit of shooting in the areas of your interest. I drive through them two or three times each fall and winter on my way from New Hampshire's Upper Valley to Maine's Mid Coast and Lewiston (when I have time for the scenic route).

My favorite area, of those you mentioned, is the Rangeley Lakes. I also like the area around Naples, just north of Sebago Lake ... and a couple of small towns and lakes East of there. The lake areas in the far North Central part of the state are also great. In November you will get a very stark quality and often have some interesting light you don't see other times of the year. I spent a day shoot around Naples and farther north last November. Don't forget the distances. When we say "you can't get there from here," we mean it. There are so many lakes and mountains that you often need to go many miles out of your way to get somewhere.

Bill is right about the weather, be prepared for bitter cold and dress for it.

Sanjay Sen
3-Nov-2007, 07:50
Bill & Ted,

Thank you both very much for your suggestions and advice. I will keep them in mind.

I did a coastal Maine road trip this summer, and it was beautiful! For my upcoming trip I plan to stay inland.

Best wishes,

Richard Raymond
5-Nov-2007, 10:59
In addition to the good advice from Ted try and find some maps/info on hunting and fishing lodges and camps. These will give you some idea of where the roads may be and also from their websites some idea of the surrounding scenery. This time of year there will be few folks around. Most of the roads were built to handle logging and not for scenic pictures. There may be a long drive between things to see. If you are staying on the western side of Maine you may want to try to get up to Moosehead Lake. Not sure of your interest of photos in small towns but there will be some opportunities for these as well.
Bethel will be the main town in this area and along with opportunities to shoot scenes along the Androscoggin there will be mill yards and other buildings that supported the lumber industry when it was pushing out a lot of white pine from the area.
From there you can go over to Rumford and Mexico. It is also an easy trip to the north end of the Kennebec River.
Also, take standard cold weather precautions with your equipment. If you bring lenses, film and holders inside put them in ziplock bags and let them warm up. Warm, humid indoor air will get condensation on everything if you are not careful. The worst is on the inner glass surfaces and shutters of your lenses. Take it back outside in freezing weather and you have real problems. Generally it is best to leave the equipment in the cold, if possible.

Michael Alpert
5-Nov-2007, 15:56
Hi folks,
I'm hoping to visit the Lakes & Mountains region, the Kennebec & Moose River Valleys, and the Highlands.


You must mean Moosehead Lake. I think you need to limit yourself to one area; it's a large state. The mountains west of the Farmington are very nice, with Mount Blue a favorite of mine. Going further west will lead you to higher terrain. But these western mountains are quite far from Moosehead, especially on a snowy day. In the other direction, Baxter State Park, east of the Moosehead region, is beautiful and varied, but you should check to see when the park closes to be sure you will have access.

Interior Maine, especially the Maine woods, is not as easily photographed as the coast. The forest is vast and somewhat monotonous until you find your subject matter. I live in interior Maine, so I am used to the weather. Be sure that your car is in good shape and that you have snow tires or all-weather tires in very good condition. By mid-November there will probably be some snow in the mountains, but the main roads should be clear. If you are not accustomed to driving in heavy snow, don't do it. Find a place to stay if there is a storm. If you have warm clothing, especially for your hands and feet, you'll be fine. Carry water and food and a blanket in your car. If you travel down back dirt roads, be sure you've asked for advice about them. Local people here are very helpful to anyone who treats them with respect. It's really a great environment, with fine people; but the interior region is not full of wealthy people, so the culture here is quite distinct from the state tourist department's coastal-oriented version of Vacationland.

Sanjay Sen
5-Nov-2007, 18:02
Richard & Michael, thank you very much for your suggestions and advice - they are much appreciated.

Someone (on another forum) suggested the "Maine Atlas & Gazetteer" - will take that along as a guide. It's also hunting season now, which I hadn't considered, so I'll be taking the necessary precautions (blaze orange clothing) and hopefully not end up as a statistic! :)

The general plan I have is to drive the back roads and stop to take photographs of anything that gets my interest. Maine is a large state, so I'll pick an area or two (from all the suggestions above) and try to stay in and around those.

Best wishes,